Aunchalee E.L. Palmquist

Director of Graduate Studies, Duke Global Health Institute

Associate Professor of the Practice of Global Health and Cultural Anthropology

Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist is an Associate Professor of the Practice at the Duke Global Health Institute with a secondary appointment in Cultural Anthropology. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC Chapel Hill. She holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). 

Dr. Palmquist is a health equity scholar, feminist ethnographer, and internationally recognized breastfeeding and human lactation researcher. Her scholarship bridges biocultural medical anthropology and global health. Inspired by feminist anthropology, Indigenous methodologies, bioethics, and human rights frameworks, she uses research to uncover root causes of health inequities and to imagine new directions for policy, practice, and advocacy. Dr. Palmquist has over 20 years of experience conducting ethnographic, mixed-methods, and community-based participatory research and collaborates on interdisciplinary research with scholars from around the world. 

Prior to joining DGHI, Dr. Palmquist was an Assistant Professor at the UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute. She was the 2021 recipient of a Gillings Faculty Award for Excellence in Health Equity Research and a two-time recipient of a Teaching Innovation Award in the Gillings School, Department of Maternal and Child Health (2020, 2023).

Dr. Palmquist has served as a CGBI representative on the WHO/UNICEF Global Breastfeeding Collective (2017-2023), the Emergency Nutrition Network IFE Core Group (2017-2023), and the United States Breastfeeding Committee as Co-Steward of the COVID-19 Infant and Young Child Feeding Constellation (2020-2023). Dr. Palmquist has previously served as an International Lactation Consultants Association liaison to the United Nations (2017).